News, Events and Culture

Light-filled lanterns to illuminate Palmerston North’s Square this Saturday

Thursday March 15 2018

As soon as the sun sets on Saturday evening, Palmerston North’s Square will be illuminated by colourful hand-crafted lanterns for the opening of the city’s annual Festival of Cultures.

The Lantern Parade is a fun and celebratory community event that attracts thousands of visitors. A series of lantern-making workshops have been held to assist with people creating their own lanterns for the event.

Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust (REACT) is again leading the lantern parade, and this year the Chinese Year of the Dog is recognised, with the launch of their latest large-scale themed lantern.

Wellington based Balkan-groove band, The Kanistas are also returning to lead the parade with their gypsy and brass sounds through The Square.

The annual event attracts thousands of people and this year’s event promises a more dazzling display than previous years.

As well as the lanterns, there will be a strong line-up of cultural performers including Canta Conmigo, Manawatu Bengalee Society, Massey University Fire Club, the Chinese School of Dance and the Happy Birds Chinese Dance team from the Manawatu Chinese Community Trust.

A line-up of food trucks will add to the senses with their aromas of cultural delicacies on offer while people wait for the sun to set and the mass illumination begin.

Another highlight of the evening will be a collection of images of local people projected onto a nearby building.

The Lantern Festival starts this Saturday (17 March) in Palmerston North’s Square, at 7pm and is expected to be finished by 10pm.

The Festival of Cultures is one of the longest-standing community events in Palmerston North. It is the city’s opportunity to celebrate art, culture and lifestyle, and explore their connections to each other and the local community.

The Lantern Parade is followed by a programme of events that will run through to the main World Food, Craft & Music Fair on Saturday 24 March.

The Festival of Cultures is organised by Palmerston North City Council in partnership with the Manawatu Multicultural Centre and is funded from the Palmerston North City Council Contracted Event Fund, with strong support from the community.